New York Report: S&P hits new heights due to Fed optimism

THE S&P 500 ended on a record high yesterday, extending gains for a fifth day on investors’ optimism that the Federal Reserve would keep interest rates low for a long period of time.

While the The S&P 500 gained 2.50 points or 0.13 per cent, to close at 1,959.48, the Dow Jones industrial average eked out a rise of 14.84 points or 0.09 per cent, to end at 16,921.46. The Nasdaq Composite fell 3.51 points or 0.08 per cent, to 4,359.33.

Energy shares ranked among the biggest gainers. Oil prices ended higher after President Barack Obama said he was sending up to 300 US military advisers to Iraq as fighting there intensified.

Shares of Chevron added 1.3 per cent to $131.99.

US-listed shares of BlackBerry jumped 9.7 per cent to $9.09 after the Canadian smartphone maker reported a smaller-than-expected first-quarter loss.

However, Coach’s stock slid 8.9 per cent to $35.69 and was the S&P 500’s biggest percentage decliner.

The upscale retailer, known for its handbags, said during an investor day presentation that it expected revenue to fall by low double digits in percentage terms for the year ending June 2015. It also said it would close 70 underperforming stores.

Factory activity in the US Mid-Atlantic region grew at a faster pace than expected in June.

The Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank said its business activity index shot up to 17.8 from 15.4 in May, above the forecast for a reading of 14.